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Filmmaker's neighbors pitch in on project

April 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
This is a story about a young woman with a dream and a community helping her make it come true.When Bri Prooker needed to raise money to make a short film, she turned to her neighbors with a creative approach.

"I love them. I mean, they've reaffirmed my belief in people and humanity," said Prooker.

Prooker is talking about her Burbank neighbors. Without their help, she wouldn't have had the money to make a short film she wrote, co-produced and stars in, playing three different roles.

To say thanks for any donations she came up with an idea to let her neighbors know this wasn't a one-way street.

"I handed out brochures to all my neighbors and I was ready to bake the cookies and cook their meals and babysit their kids," said Prooker. "And people just started coming up to me as I was walking my dog and saying, 'And I don't want you to bake cookies for me or walk my dog or sit my kids. I just want to give you money because I think it's so cool that you're following your dreams.'"

With mostly $10 and $20 donations, Prooker raised $2,500 from her community. And with the help of her acting coach, she's just about finished editing the comedy, "Gut-To-Go."

"It's based off of a New York Times article that I read called, 'It's Hip to Be Round,' which pretty much said that the hip new thing for guys is to have a beer belly," said Prooker.

So in the movie, when you're cursed with a "six-pack," you can buy the perfect gut to feel sexy.

Prooker feels blessed to live in such a giving community.

"They're all just really supportive and it's just been this overwhelming, like, just -- I get teary just thinking about it because it's been so amazing," said Prooker.

Maybe even more amazing is that Prooker is even able to do this. She lives with three sometimes painful autoimmune diseases which, not that long ago, had left her bedridden.

"I mean, two years ago I couldn't walk but I believed that I would be able to walk again, to be able to walk my dog again and be able to do what makes me happy which is acting and making films," said Prooker.